tv PBS News Hour PBS February 5, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: a new push for peace, western leaders head to kiev and moscow in search of a diplomatic solution to the fighting while the u.s. weighs whether to give ukraine weapons. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. also ahead this thursday...
♪ ♪ ♪ how the viral hit "gangnam style" can drive stock prices and boost a company's bottom line. we analyze the strange quirks of investor psychology. >> the key ingredient is piping more commonly used to irrigate farms, and this is the key to a $50 artificial leg. >> ifill: and, we head to the colorado ski slopes for the story behind the u.s. ski team's recent success. they've taken technology, talent and training to a new edge. >> there's individual personalities in this crazy sport and having wild, crazy successful people doing it drive it to another level. >> woodruff: those are some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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people build immeasurably better lives. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: the new leftist government in greece vowed today it will not be blackmailed into giving up its anti-austerity stance. that came after the european central bank imposed new restrictions on lending to greek banks. meanwhile, the new greek finance minister met with his german counterpart in berlin. they discussed athens' demands to re-negotiate terms of its bailout, but they made little headway. >> ( translated ): greece belongs to the euro, but we don't really agree on what we
have to do now, despite a very intense, open discussion. i should say now: we agree to disagree. >> we didn't reach an agreement. it was never on the cards that we would. we didn't even agree to disagree from where i'm standing. >> ifill: the greek prime minister, alexis tsipras, is set to lay out his program for the country's financial future this weekend. >> woodruff: the european union's latest economic forecast showed a little improvement today, despite uncertainty over the greek situation. across the 19-country eurozone the new outlook called for 1.3% growth in 2015. that's up from a 1.1% estimate in november. >> ifill: on wall street, oil prices bounced back above $50 dollars a barrel, and that boosted stocks. the dow jones industrial average gained nearly 212 points, to close near 17,900; the nasdaq rose 48 on the day. and the s&p 500 added 21.
>> woodruff: jordanian warplanes blasted islamic state targets today in a show of force after a captured jordanian pilot was burned alive. the jets streaked across the home village of muath al- kasaesbeh as they returned. at the time, king abdullah was visiting the pilot's family. he has pledged to step up jordan's military efforts against the militants. meanwhile, in washington, president obama condemned islamic state atrocities. he told the national prayer breakfast, "no god condones terror." >> no grievance justifies the taking of innocent lives or the oppression of those who are weaker or fewer in number. and so, as people of faith, we are summoned to push back against those who've tried to distort our religion. any religion for their own nihilistic ends. >> woodruff: in another development, a u.n. agency reported islamic state militants in iraq, are systematically torturing and killing the children of minority groups. >> ifill: hundreds of boko haram
fighters from nigeria carried out a rampage in neighboring cameroon today. officials say the islamists murdered scores of civilians in a border town, torching churches, mosques and schools and leaving hundreds of people wounded. it appeared to be revenge for an offensive by nigeria, cameroon and chad that's killed hundreds of militants this week. >> woodruff: in taiwan officials praised the pilot of a trans-asia plane as a hero for steering his stricken plane past buildings yesterday, and into a river. at least 32 people died in the crash, after the airliner lost an engine. divers searched for victims again today as salvage crews loaded pieces of the wreckage onto truck beds. the plane had 58 people on board. >> ifill: the co-chair of sony pictures entertainment has announced she's leaving, three months after embarrassing e- mails she wrote sparked an uproar. amy pascal's messages came to light when the company was
hacked in what officials said was a north korean cyberattack. they included denigrating remarks about president obama. pascal will stay with sony, heading up a new production venture. >> woodruff: pope francis will address a joint meeting of congress this fall, the first pontiff to do so. house speaker john boehner announced today that the speech is set for september 24th. while he's in the u.s., francis is also expected to visit the white house and speak at the united nations. >> ifill: the head of the food and drug administration margaret hamburg, is stepping down after nearly six years on the job. she confirmed today that she'll resign next month. under hamburg, the f.d.a. imposed new food safety rules and tobacco regulations. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour. the debate over arming ukraine. why hackers are targeting insurance companies. stock market swings triggered by viral videos. big money pledged to reverse the trends on childhood obesity. developing low cost artificial limbs for amputees in india.
and, high hopes for the u.s. ski team, a powerhouse on the slopes. >> ifill: in ukraine, a debate over guns or diplomacy. a battle over that choice shaped up today as western leaders sought to stop the killing and rein in russia. the french president, the german chancellor, and america's top diplomat, all hurried to ukraine, in a search of the answer. night had fallen by the time the leaders of france and germany landed in kiev. they were driven directly to the presidential palace, to meet with ukrainian president petro poroshenko, in a bid to stop the escalating war. before leaving paris, french president francois hollande spoke of the growing urgency. >> ( translated ): we will leave for kiev as soon as this afternoon.
we will make a new proposal to solve the conflict. it won't be said that france and germany, together, haven't tried everything, undertaken everything to preserve peace. >> ifill: france, germany and other nations oppose supplying ukraine with arms. meanwhile, in brussels, nato defense ministers agreed on new moves to counter russia's aggressive actions by more than doubling the size of a ready response force, and setting up new command centers in eastern europe. as fighting in the east has escalated, both nato and ukraine charge the russians are supplying tanks, heavy weapons and even troops to the ukrainian rebels. something the russians deny. that's led to white house discussions of whether the u.s. should start shipping weapons to ukraine's military. secretary of state john kerry, also in kiev today, did not rule out sending lethal aid, but noting that president obama does not want a proxy war, he didn't rule it in either.
>> we want a diplomatic resolution, but we cannot close our eyes to tanks that are crossing the border from russia and coming in to ukraine. we cannot close our eyes to russian fighters in unmarked uniforms crossing the border and leading individual companies of so-called separatists in battle. >> ifill: publicly, at least the white house insists providing military assistance to ukraine could simply increase the bloodshed. but there was growing pressure elsewhere in washington to act. >> this is a fight between a struggling democracy and an autocratic dictatorship. and we should take sides. >> ifill: republican lindsey graham of south carolina and other senators, from both parties, continued to press the white house to arm ukrainian forces. yesterday, defense-secretary- designate ashton carter weighed in: >> i'm very much inclined in that direction, mr. chairman because i think we need to support the ukrainians in
defending themselves. >> ifill: but carter, who has not yet been confirmed by the senate, later backed away from that that statement. in moscow, a russian foreign ministry spokesman fired a verbal warning shot, warning against the prospect of any american military involvement. >> ( translated ): we can state that washington's actions intentionally lead russia-u.s. relations into a deadlock, and it will take a very long time to find a way out. >> ifill: france's hollande and germany's merkel travel to moscow tomorrow. >> ifill: should the united states beef up military support to ukraine? for that, we turn to steven pifer, who served as u.s. ambassador to ukraine during the clinton administration. he's senior fellow at the brookings institution. and john mearsheimer, a professor of international security policy at the university of chicago. so what do you think is the answer to the question, steven pifer? >> i think the answer is that we should provide additional military assistance to crairng including some defensive arms and that's designed to support
diplomacy. it's designed to give der terence to further russian aggression and maybe change that calculation in moscow where putin concludes he can't use military force. he has to go and seek a negotiated settlement. >> ifill: so you're suggesting the u.s. provide weapons they can use defensively, not offensively? >> first of all the group that i was with when we proposed additional military assistance, the bulk of that is non-military assistance. the one area we visited ukraine three weeks ago we found a real need for light anti-armor weapons. the ukrainians have stocks that are over 20 years old and almost three-quarters of them just don't work. as was mentioned in the report, you've seen in december and january a significant influx of russian tanks and other armored vehicles from russia in eastern ukraine. >> ifill: john mearsheimer have we reached that point where that's next step many. >> new york i think it would be a fundamentally foolish idea to arm the ukrainians. and i think that for two
reasons: first of all it just wouldn't work militarily. the russians can just counter escalate and they can balance any increase in weapons that we give to kiev. so we gain no military advantage. and if you're talking about driving up the cost for the russian, you're also going to drive up the cost for the ukrainians. there's going to be a real escalation spiral that sets in and in effect you're going to be backing the russians into the corner. and the question you want to ask yourself is do you want to take a country that has thousands of nuclear warheads and back it into a corner? do you want to raise the costs and risks for that country to the pilot where it might think about rattling its nuclear saber? i think the answer is categorically no. i think the last thing we want to do is try and solve this one militarily. what we want to do is solve it diplomatically. >> ifill: professor you used the term "escalation spiral." given the bloodshed of the last several week, hasn't that done
and is humanitarian aid enough to stop that? >> it has begun there's no question about that. but the point is it could get a lot worse. we're talking about upping the ante, having an arms race in ukraine. the end result is the intensity of the conflict will spiral. what i'm saying to you is if it does work to russia's disadvantage, if russia is backed into a corner and the russians become desperate, because core strategic interests are at stake, we're talking about ukraine, right on their border, their incentives to pursue risky policies, which could mean nuclear weapons, are significant. we just want to avoid that situation. >> ifill: steven pifer what about this idea of backing russians into a corner and getting into a war we don't want to get into in. >> let's be clear the russians put themselves in this situation. it's been russian aggression against ukraine that goes back to last march beginning with the seizure of crimea, russian support for the separatists in eastern ukraine.
in june you saw an influx of heavy weapons apparent will sufficient fast-to-air missile that shot down a flight. so there has been a continual pattern of russian escalation even after september 5 when there was a ceasefire agreed. if you look at the map in ukraine, today the russians and separatists occupy about 500 square kilometers more than they did five months ago. so the russians have been escalating. i would argue that you can put the russians in the dilemma on escalation, where further escalation likely then as professor mearsheimer described would involve the russian army, one it exposes at home the vladimir putin that the russian army is fighting in eastern ukraine and raises the question of casualties. i don't think mr. putin cares about soldiers, but he cares about the impact on his approval rating. so the idea that the russians will automatically jump up i think is a mistake. one last point is we talk about
this kind of a west-russia context. ukraine gets a vote. i mean, ukraine very much has a say or should have a say in how it's going to develop as a country. >> ifill: professor mearsheimer, assuming you disgee with a lot of that, which i'm assuming you do i want to move you forward to the other solution diplomacy? is it standing in place? >> just before i answer that question, gwen, let me say i don't think that putin and the russians more generally are responsible for this crisis. i think the west is, especially the united states, and its nato expansion that's the tap root of this problem. the fact that we have been pushing nato and the eu eastward and trying to pull ukraine out of russia's orbit and make ukraine a bulwark of the west right on russia's border is what has precipitated this crisis. >> ifill: and what... >> what we're doing is it exacerbating it by arming the ukrainians. >> nobody has been armed yet, at
least not lethal aid. what would diplomacy look like? what would hollande-merkel solution look like? >> i think there is a very simple solution to this problem, and this is to turn ukraine into a neutral buffer state. what the west has to do is explicitly take nato and e.u. expansion off the table and make it clear to moscow that the united states and its european allies have no intention of siding with the government in kiev that is anti-russian and pro western. what we want is a neutral government. and then we ought to work with the russians and with the imf and with the e.u. to come up with some sort of economic package that can put ukraine back on its feet. the fact is that the russians have a vested interest in having a viable but neutral craib on their border. so there's no reason we can't work with the russians to put ukraine back on its feet. >> ifill: steven pifer, given what we saw happen to crimea, it is possible? is there a reasonable fear that
the eastern ukraine would become a breakaway state if this were to happen? >> i think what you see right now is russians are using eastern ukraine by sewing instability and chaos there trying to destabilize the government in kiev. but a couple points to what professor mearsheimer just said. first of all there has been zero enthusiasm in nato for the last six years to enlarge to ukraine. the obama administration has never pursued it and the russians know this. i think that's similarly false argument. the second point is that when you start talking about pushing ukraine back toward russia we're talking kind of spheres of influence. it's really 19th century. europe was trying to move beyond that. a fundamental point here is with the 1975 helsinki final act, that was designed to say you will play by the rules and one of the cardinal rules is non-viability of borders and you don't use military force to take territory from other countries, and that's what russia is doing.
>> we'll see what happens in the big meeting in moscow in the coming days and revisit this. thank you both very much, mere moor mere -- mearsheimer near in chicago and steven pifer in moscow. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: today's disclosure of a major hacking attack on the nation's second-largest insurer, anthem, is setting off alarms about cybercrime at a new level. hackers were able to crack a database that included records for 80 million people. the cyber-criminals were able to get names, addresses and emails. as well as social security numbers and income, but hospital and doctor information related to patients was not hacked. bloomberg news reported investigators believe chinese state-sponsored hackers are involved. mark bower is a noted expert on these issues and a vice president at voltage security in california.
mark bower, welcome. so compared to the hacks we've seen until now, how serious is this one? >> well certainly we've just started the year off with a bang in terms of data breaches. 80 million records is a very substantial amount so this is quite a serious attack, and the nature of the data, you've got lots of personal data that can potentially be monetized. it's going to be very in convenient for those individuals and also quite costly for those individuals that this affects. >> woodruff: it is possible to know who is behind this? the bloomberg news report mentioned it's possibly the chinese. they mentioned a group called deep panda. >> it's not clear yet. we only have a couple data points on information like, that but fundamentally there's got to be some organized crime behind this or very well-organized attackers to be able to get into these types of systems and steal this vol yum of data. we shouldn't forget that these
types of attacks are pretty much expected these days. we've seen breaches of this nature across the board over the last decade and, in fact the volumes of data that have been stolen are staggering these days. >> woodruff: what can the people behind this data breech do with this information? >> so it depends on their motive in the end. but ultimately if you have stolen large amounts of personal information, social security numbers, name and address date of berth, and also employment history and income they that well, you can start to create identity theft situations where you're actually stealing people's information or identity to commit fraud. but more importantly, there is also the risk of side effects of this type of data can actually result in attacks that are more targeted so, for example we might have an individual that is maybe a wealthy individual and the attacker can go after them
more specifically based on the information that they have about them in what we call a spearfishing attack. that might involve going after them with targeted e-mails, even phone calls to try and get them to reveal more data that then can be used in a compromise or for further identity theft. >> so for individuals who either now or did have health coverage through anthem, what should they be on the lookout for? >> so after these types of attacks, what we often see is a wave of spam e-mails those are those fake e-mails that are often trying to lure people into web sites where there may be viruses and malware, the more sinister fishing attacks, which might be there to lure people to web sites to then download malware that will actually steal further information from their own personal computers or maybe even get into their bank accounts and so on with online banking. so people have to be vigilant to make sure they're not seeing
e-mails that look suspicious and clicking on things. and also be wary of things like phone calls for instance from organizations that may be purporting to be from service providers that may be related to anthem, but they're actually criminal gangs trying to get more information from consumers that can then be used for further accessing their bank account or for further fraud or accessing their computers or so on. >> woodruff: just quickly mark bower, how would you rank or rate the security system at a company like anthem. obviously it was breeched, but have they taken all the steps that a big company is supposed to take? >> that's hard to say, but even the best-prepared organizations can often succumb to these types of attacks. what we found over the last several years is that the attackers are becoming much more sophisticated. the malware is becoming much more advanced. and it just takes one vulnerability to be able to bypass those traditional perimeter defenses the fire walls and the log-in and the
intrusion detection to get into the heart of these systems. once they're in there it's too late. the information can be stolen, monetized and we see victims as we've seen today. >> well, that's certainly got a lot of people's attention. mark bower with voltage security, we thank you. >> thank you very much. >> ifill: now, economics correspondent paul solman examines how viral music videos, television interviews, and good looks can boost a company's stock price. it's part of our ongoing reporting "making sense," which airs every thursday on the newshour. >> reporter: pop quizz. what do the following have in common? the 2012 hyper-viral video sensation, "gangnam style." the hottest, sexiest c.e.o.'s alive. the 2013 nobel prize in
economics. to help answer that question, and a deeper one about the rationality of the stock market we went to the recent meeting of the american economic association in boston, where, among hundreds of presentations, one in particular had caught our attention. >> so you're gripping this horse, right? >> reporter: oh, the reins! that's the key equestrian dance move in "gangnam style," the korean pop video watched so many times online, now over 2.2 billion, that youtube had to re-jigger its views counter. after the video went viral economist andy kim, who dressed up playfully "gangnam style" to present his paper, noticed some weird activity in the stock price of a publicly traded south korean semiconductor firm, d.i. corp. >> market efficiency would say the price of this stock has to stay calm because there was no
fundamental information about this company, but only with this "gangnam style" being viral, the stock started to jump up, 800% level, within three months. >> reporter: 800, it, it multiplied eight times? >> eight times, yes. >> reporter: market efficiency is the theory for which university of chicago economist eugene fama shared the nobel prize in 2013. >> the central question is whether asset prices reflect all available information, what i labeled the efficient market hypothesis. >> reporter: the idea is that stock prices always reflect true value because investors take in all available information about companies almost instantly and thus bid them up or down to their true worth. but with d.i. corp and its 800% price jump, there was only one even remotely relevant bit of information: the company's executive chairman, park won-ho
is father of park ja-sang, a.k.a. tongue-in-cheek rap star psy. like son, like father, inexplicable success. so no merger talk, no nothing? >> no mergers, no earnings surprise, no announcement about m&a's or new business, nothing. >> reporter: in other words, the stock price of d.i. corp took off in tandem with the c.e.o.'s son simply because his video went viral, and investors got excited. a stock bubble if ever there was one. except the nobel theory said bubbles don't exist. was there any way to strengthen the case that they do? well, "gangnam style" happened to have spawned a cottage industry of parodies from eastern europe, saudi arabia nasa's johnson space center. even the chinese dissident artist ai weiwei. and then there were flash mobs from bangkok to barcelona.
from a budapest shopping mall to a philippine maximum security prison. economist kim wondered, could it possibly be that when these videos anywhere from italy to indonesia went viral, or even just bacterial, in their home country-- would the dad's stock price go up there? take a guess. you mean people were actually buying the stock of the father of psy in "gangnam style" because there were flash mobs in their area? >> yes, that's what i'm documenting in this paper. >> reporter: and though d.i. corp's stock price eventually subsided some, it soared again with the release of psy's second hit song, "gentleman," in april 2013. though the company's earnings remain pretty much where they were, pre-virus, the stock still hovers four to 500% above where
it started. and, says kim... >> whenever people are anticipating psy's new songs coming up, the price shoots back up again to that 800% level. >> that's an immense effect. that has got to be a true bubble as we call it, irrationality. >> reporter: economist dan hamermesh, from whom we'll hear more in a moment. but we have to set him up with andy kim's second piece of irrationality research. >> we study 7,000 c.e.o. interviews on cnbc the financial network and what happens to the stock price, when the c.e.o. comes onto the cnbc and does an interview. we see price jump on the day of the interview, interview and then reverse or backward over the next ten trading days. >> reporter: back to where it started? >> back to where it started. popping up part is irrational and then getting back to original level it's market efficiency. >> reporter: so it's irrational to buy stock in a company when its c.e.o. goes on tv, given no
actual news about the company right? but what if the c.e.o. is as good-looking as tesla's elon musk, number one on business insider's list of sexiest c.e.o.'s? or yahoo ceo marissa mayer, who saw her stock price jump 1.25% the day her vogue magazine feature came out? mayer scores an 8.45 out of ten, just five hundredths of a point lower than angelina jolie on anaface.com's facial attractiveness index. that's the website two wisconsin researchers used to judge the hotness-- or not-ness-- of 682 c.e.o.'s. they found that the better looking the c.e.o., the bigger the boost to the company's stock price when he or she took over. >> attractiveness affects people's perceptions. >> reporter: crazy. or maybe not, says dan hamermesh, who's been studying the economics of beauty for over 20 years. >> if the c.e.o. is better looking, he or she is gonna
generate more confidence by the co-workers, by the subordinates and that's gonna help the company make more sales, make more profits and those profits are gonna be reflected in the higher stock price. so it's completely comprehensible, very rational, given that you think we have a preference for good looking people, which i know we do. >> reporter: and it's rational to bet on beauty being more than skin-deep? >> rational only in the context of a discriminatory society, which values beauty. it's the underlying discrimination that i think is irrational. >> reporter: so in the end, are markets efficiently rational or aren't they? or are they both? isn't it rational to believe that investors can take a fancy to a knockout c.e.o. or a company that gets sudden attention, for whatever wacky reason, so long as those investors think other investors will do the same? and that brings us back to psy, the stock of his dad's firm, and the most supposedly rational market players of all, the world's institutional investors.
>> institutional investors from abroad started to buy this stock even more and then, guess what? dimensional fund advisor, which was founded by nobel laureate eugene fama, now it's the largest institutional investor. >> reporter: now wait, you mean that the hedge fund most associated with the efficient market hypothesis that price always reflects fundamentals is the largest investor in "gangnam style's" father's company? >> yes. they may have different investment style. i guess that style must be "gangnam style." >> reporter: or the style that says, "if you can't beat 'em it's perfectly rational to join 'em." paul solman, reporting for pbs, newshour style.
>> woodruff: childhood obesity remains one of the largest public health problems in the u.s. there have been a number of major campaigns to combat it and today, those efforts got a big boost. here's jeffrey brown. >> brown: there has been no shortage of initiatives in recent years to try to curb the problem, and last year the government reported some progress in that fight. the rate of obesity among children 2 to 5 years old has dropped from about 14% in 2004 to 8% in 2012. the robert wood johnson foundation has been a key player in all of this, committing half a billion dollars since 2007. today it pledged another $500 million over next ten years. its president risa laviso mourey made the announcement at an event with the first lady in new york today. she joins me now, and for the record, the foundation has been a funder of the "newshour" in the past. so welcome to you. as a starting point, there really has been progress, right? so why the renewed effort?
>> there has been progress indeed. you quoted some important statistics, a leveling off after 30 years of relentless rise in childhood obesity rates and actual decrease among our youngest children but these gains are fragile. they are not evenly distributedment we see more gains in white children and in children from higher incomes, so frankly we've got to renew our efforts and increase the momentum, spread these successes so that all children have the opportunity to grow up at a healthy weight. >> so when you look at how to spend money in the future what's worked? what do we know so far about what's worked? >> well, we know that one of the most important things is that we've shown people can come together and work on this issue across communities. and so we're really going to focus on five areas, five very strategic areas that we think will make a difference. first, ensuring that children
have a healthy weight when they start school. we know that if children start kindergarten at a healthy weight, they have a higher probability of maintaining that weight throughout their childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. we need the make sure that healthy schools are the norm, not the exception. kids spend more time at school than any place else other than home. we've seen more than 27,000 schools across the country really become healthy places. third, we have to make sure that kids are physically active. they get up and move. and physical activity needs to be fun, convenient and they have safe plateses where they can be physically active. we have to make sure that parents have availability of healthy foods in their communities so that they can prepare and hopefully prepare with their children healthy meals. and finally and not least by any means we need to make sure that we eliminate sugar-sweetened
beverages from children 0 to 5 years old. toddlers an young children simply have more healthy options to drink than sugar-sweetened beverages. so we want to engage children and youth and parents in the health care community in working on these five big strategies because we think that will make a difference. >> yeah, but where are you seeing it not working and why not? i mean, what are the biggest barriers to achieving those five things? >> one of the key things that we have seen is that communities that are challenged economically are having more difficulty investing in these kinds of strategies. so we want to redouble our efforts to make sure that all communities, irrespective of their economic means, are able to invest in these kinds of strategies and help their children have the choices that will allow them to have a healthy weight. >> we do see disparities in some of the numbers, even in some of the gains among some communities, african american, latino?
>> we have seen much more progress among white children and children of higher incomes, but then there are cities like philadelphia that have been able to demonstrate across-the-board reductions in obesity rates among all children of all racial and ethnic groups. so we know it can be done if people come together and employ a comprehensive approach like those five strategies that i mentioned. >> and does any of this include changing, working to change laws i ask, because some of the attempts of mandating some changes, especially when it comes to sugary drinks you were mentioning, some of those seem to have backfired. >> well, we know that there are places like berkeley that have enacted sugar-sweetened beverage taxes, and one of the things we're committed to doing is evaluating those kinds of changes so that we will know what really works going forward. we already know that there are a variety of ways we can use to change behaviors and give people
more opportunities to choose healthy choices like some of the efforts that have been used in philadelphia, investing in more walking and bikable approaches and ensuring that there are healthy foods in every community and the corner stores as well as the grocery stores eliminating food deserts. we know these things work. now we have to evaluate some of the other possibilities that are being enacted around the country. >> brown: very briefly, in a word, what's the ultimate goal in ten years? >> the ultimate goal in 2025 is to ensure that every child in this country has the opportunity to grow up at a healthy weight, no matter where he or she lives and who they are. >> brown: all right, dr. risa laviso mourey of the robert wood johnson foundation, thanks so much. >> thank you, jeffrey. it's a pleasure to be here.
>> ifill: now, innovation in india, where there's a new effort underway to bring mobility and prosthetic limbs to some of the world's poorest people. fred de sam lazaro reports as part of our series on breakthroughs. >> reporter: jaipur is one of india's top tourist destinations but not far from its architectural landmarks is a far more modest one that draws a whole different kind of visitor. they come literally on hands and knees to an organization commonly known as jaipur foot. >> now every year we are fitting anything between 23 to 25,000 limbs per year. >> reporter: d.r. mehta began offering artificial limbs and other services to physically disabled people nearly 40 years ago. about 150 patients arrive each day from across india desperate people like zareena, a widow who said she is reduced to panhandling to support her two children.
>> bombay? >> bombay? she has come from bombay, a long, long way. what do you need? a cycle. she wants a hand pedaled tricycle. >> ( translated ): you are the answer to my prayer. >> reporter: she's one of at least 5.5 million people in india with so called loco motor disabilities-caused in her case by childhood polio. others suffer congenital conditions. but by the most frequent patients are amputees, trauma victims, mainly from road accidents. the jaipur foot organization was started with the help of government grants and is now funded mostly by foundations and individual donations. its cost structure-for a lower limb, say, are miniscule by western standards. >> now it's $50. >> reporter: here's a comparison. in the united states a
prosthesis like this would typically range from $8 to $12,000. it would be made of metal aluminum, possibly carbon fiber. whereas in jaipur, the key ingredient is pvc piping more commonly used to irrigate farms. and this is the key to a 50 dollar artificial leg. despite their tremendous success, one part of the leg had defied their innovations-- the knee. >> so much so that its better to lose both the limbs below the knee than to lose one leg above the knee. we've had very simple knee joints which are single axis which are more like door hinges and we've been using them largely because of the simplicity, low cost and also non availability of other option. >> reporter: dr pooja mukul, an orthopedic doctor at jaipur
mukul is leading the effort to develop better options, partnering with m.i.t. and stanford university with software typically used in movies, they've conducted so- called gait analysis. >> so this is the first prototype or version one of the polycentric knee that we developed in collaboration with stanford >> reporter: trials over the past five years with hundreds of patients in india and other developing nations where it will be used helped refine the new jaipur knee-removing for example a clicking sound from version one. >> our patients don't want to hear clicks, they don't want a sound to precede their entry into an area, so then we got a bumper put in here. and now it is silent. also, the geometry-- this is very squarish-- doesn't match the human knee. this one is more like a knee.
>> reporter: one of their challenges is that those who need replacement limbs in the developing world often younger and in better shape than those in the west. >> a typical amputee in india or the developing world would be post traumatic, age would be 20- 30, in fact even younger, with land mines, lot of young children stepping on land mines. so it's a very young population with no other medical condition pulling them down except the fact that they unfortunately met with an accident. they have their whole productive lives ahead of them, unlike in the west who've lost it because of diabetes or vascular insufficiency, cardiac pulmonary issues, they're most sedentary, so the demands that our patients put on prosthesis are very, very challenging. >> reporter: once the knee is ready to be put up for sale, it will be made like the other limbs in simple molding facilities, cut and trimmed by hand. about a third of the workers
themselves have jaipur limbs. mehta said replacing body parts makes a huge difference in lives which he asked these amputees to show us by sprinting. >> ifill: a version of this story aired on the pbs program "religion and ethics newsweekly." fred's reporting is a partnership with the under told stories project at st. mary's university of minnesota. >> woodruff: alpine world ski championships got underway in colorado this week where the u.s. team is hoping for some unprecedented medal wins. and in a non-olympics year, the u.s. is also aiming to grab public attention for a team that has emerged as a power in its own right. the newshour's mary jo brooks reports.
>> reporter: year old mikaela shiffrin is methodical about preparation. we watched as she warmed up before a series of training runs on her home mountain of vail, colorado. shiffrin said she learned from her ski racing parents that a laser like focus on the fundamentals will bring about speed and success. last year, she became the youngest slalom racer to win gold in olympic history. >> pretty much my entire career i've focused on my techniques and tactics, that my equipment is dialed in, my strength, my nutrition, keeping everything dialed in so that when it comes to racing, i can put 99% out on the hill and that's enough to win. i don't have to risk that extra 1% that a lot of racers risk and end up getting injured. >> reporter: shiffrin is one of the bright young stars on a u.s. ski team, which itself has undergone methodical transformation. in a sport that has long been
dominated by europeans, the team hopes that this year's alpine world championships will cement its ascendancy as a skiing powerhouse. three of the team's other big stars, lindsey vonn, bode miller and ted ligety, are also competing here. the 30-year old vonn, who sat out last year's olympics because of serious knee injuries, has already claimed a bronze medal in the women's super-g. last month she set the all-time record for wins by a female ski racer, having amassed 64 victories at the sport's top level, and she vows there's more to come. >> my goal is to ski my best every day and try to win as many races as i can, world championships, world cups, olympics. try to keep improving. try to keep pushing the limits. that's what i love about ski racing. it's just you and the mountain and how hard you can push yourself. >> reporter: tiger shaw, c.e.o. of the u.s. ski team and a former olympian himself, credits these four superstars for the
team's rise to dominance. >> it's their personalities that elevates everything to a new level. so we're fortunate to have them. we encourage that. there's individual personalities in this crazy sport. and having wild crazy successful people doing it really helps drive it to another level. >> reporter: but shaw says the team's success also rests on corporate money that has allowed the team to train more rigorously year round, whether it's chasing winter in south america or new zealand, or taking to the glaciers in europe. >> we've learned how to compete in europe. that's the bottom line. this sport is highly contested. and if you can't handle being on the road two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight weeks in a row, then it's not for you. the athletes you see doing well now have mastered that. six time olympic medalist bode miller, has been a main driver behind this change. his often contentious relationship with the u.s. ski team at one point led him to start his own independent operation.
he eventually rejoined the u.s. squad after many of the things he initially fought for were adopted as standard team policy. things like providing better housing, food and conditioning for athletes when they're on the road. >> the strife that i had with the team and the bickering back and forth was productive actually. i take pride in the fact that i played a role in getting us where we are today. >> reporter: at 37, miller is now the old man on the team. he's competing this week for the first time since undergoing back surgery nine weeks ago. after a strong start he caught his arm on a gate, sending him tumbling down a hill an out of the race. with a huge gash on his leg, he managed to ski to the bottom where he was greeted by adoring fans. >> i think downhill skiers are the most interesting athletes. >> reporter: new york daily news reporter nathaniel vinton agrees that miller has had an enormous influence in a variety of ways. including improvements in the equipment itself.
>> bode miller, more than any person in the world, understands ski construction. throughout his career, he's demanded a front row seat at the factories, the best skis, the best testers, the best execution of his ideas of what he wants. >> reporter: but vinton, who has just written a book called "the fall line: how american ski racers conquered a sport on the edge" says the technological improvements come with a price. >> in the last 20 years, we've seen speeds rising because of technology, when you get high speeds you get potentially some catastrophic injuries. >> reporter: he says he's concerned about the widespread practice of icing the race course to make it firmer and faster. >> race organizers are making the snow harder and harder.
>> reporter: it's actually injected? >> yeah, it's a fire-hose with a special nozzle that shoots the water into the snow. the dry air wicks the water to the surface, making a glassy smooth layer of ice that is as hard as a hockey rink and tilted at 45 degrees. >> reporter: another criticism leveled at the u.s. team is that it allocates too many resources to the very top athletes and not enough on developing the talent at the lower levels. shaw acknowledges the problem. >> we now have 195 athletes. and we've added four or five new sports in the last quadrennial. so we're stretched thin. but we're doing our very best to grow our budgets and handle that. >> reporter: alpine skiing has never enjoyed the popularity in this country that it has in europe, where the sport has a
devoted fan base, and governments fund their national teams. still, everyone here hopes with the rise of the u.s. team, americans might begin to find some of that passion. two-time olympic gold medalist ted ligety. >> the sport of ski racing will never be one of the major sports, for sure. it's just not possible for the demographics of it and the geographics of it as well. but i think with the success we've had, it's definitely becoming bigger and bigger. >> reporter: for his part miller has a much more cosmic concern. >> are you feeling hopeful about the future of the sport? >> i'm not going to be investing in the ski industry anytime soon. i think global warming, there's no question it's a serious threat to the snow sports. i've been around long enough to truly see it. i don't need any researcher or scientist to tell me. the snow is coming later and it's less. >> reporter: mikaela shiffrin isn't letting herself get too distracted by those larger issues.
she's continuing her training for the giant slalom race next thursday and enjoying the attention the entire u.s. team is getting. >> hopefully there's going to be more resources that come into the u.s. ski team and we can get them out to all the young talent. i think that's going to help us develop more passionate, fast, ski racers. >> reporter: the alpine world championships continue through february 15th. in vail, colorado, i'm mary jo brooks for the pbs newshour. >> ifill: finally tonight, our newshour shares of the day, something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you too. justice ruth bader ginsburg spoke at georgetown university here in washington yesterday about what's it's like to be one of only a handful of women to have ever served on the supreme
court. along the way, she also provided rare, candid insight into the career challenges she overcame to get to the pinnacle of her profession. here is some of what she had to say. >> in the ancient days when i was going to college the law was not a welcome profession for women. in those days in the southern district most judges would not hire women. in the u.s. attorney's office women were strictly forbidden in the criminal division. the excuse for not hiring women in the criminal division is they would have to deal with all of these tough types. and women aren't up to that. i was amazed and i said, "have you seen the lawyers at legal aid who are representing all of
these tough types? they're all women." people ask me sometimes when do you think it will it be enough? when will there be enough women on the court? and my answer is when there are nine. if i could have any talent that god would give me, i would be a great diva. ( laughter ) >> that's a diva. they call her notorious rig. she's such an inspiration. >> look at that career. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. the leaders of france and germany carried a new peace proposal to ukraine, while secretary of state john kerry said the u.s. favors diplomacy but won't rule out military aid. and health insurance giant anthem confirmed hackers have gained access to a database containing information on 80 million people. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on friday, we'll look at, how
streaming music has changed the way artists release their work. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you on-line, and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks, for all of us here at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. i.b.e.w. the power professionals >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your life and become you're own chief life officer.
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